Something has come up that I haven’t dealt with before. I have a bride that wants to schedule a meeting so she can see how the music is coming. We’ve already met twice because the first time the ceremony and location was still in planning and changes had to be made. Suggestions on how to deal with this graciously and gracefully?
I’ve had this problem, and it’s difficult when one hasn’t established a limit on number of meetings (hard to enforce). Why not offer a brief phone meeting instead and play a few snippets for her to hear? Keep it short.
You’re a professional and don’t need to have your progress checked. I could maybe understand this for a concert setting (Ceremony of Carols, etc.), but just reassure her that you have it covered and not to worry. She may be bugging all her vendors, or they put her off so she’s latched onto you because she can. Gently let her know you’re busy with other clients besides her. Good luck! Some of them are just that way.
I’ve never heard of this before. But my first reaction is to put into the contract, which is signed before anything else happens, that included in your contracted fee is ONE planning meeting, and the event. If anyone wants a second or third meeting, then it is charged at $X per meeting, and lasts 30 minutes or whatever. If the meeting runs over, then that is charged $X for each 15 minute overrun.
I had a groom recently who wanted all French Impressionistic music…starting with the entire Debussy SUITE BERGAMASQUE, the Faure IMPROMPTU, Saint Saen’s CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS, etc. I told him that he would be lucky to find anybody in this hemisphere who could play all of this with 2 week’s notice. He was inflexible….he didn’t want “just” CLAIR DE LUNE…he wanted the whole suite. And for a 1 hour ceremony. I ultimately told him I had a solid hour of impressionistic music I could play, but no way was I trying to fit in decades of work in 2 weeks for a one hour wedding. He went away and don’t know what happened. He probably played a mix tape for his ceremony….
David, that seems so rare to have any groom get involved with the planning of the wedding music. Usually, around here, they stay out of it and let the bride (or her mother!) plan everything. Of course, it could be two grooms and of course one or the other would certainly plan the wedding music!
Long ago, I learned “Stairway to Heaven” for a groom because that was his favorite and his bride only “allowed” him to pick ONE SONG while she selected everything else!
Jennifer, you may not be able to “make a stand” on this particular wedding and “draw the line,” but you certainly can make policies in the future. Most of the wedding couples and families I have dealt with over these many years have been reasonable. A few have been difficult and seemed to try to take advantage of my generosity, but thankfully, that was rare.
Gretchen, I am so bad….I didn’t see your question until well over a year later!
But to answer your question: in a word, NO. I have decided they will never be graced with my talents again.
(And for those who are wondering, I had signed contracts to play in the orchestra for a huge megachurch’s Christmas Extravaganza….something like 17 performances, 3 rehearsals, etc. Two months before starting I got a call from the music director who said, “We don’t need you…we got in the new orchestrations and there’s no harp part.” I protested that we had a signed contract with no “back out” clause, and I could prove at minimum 12 gigs I had turned down.
(Long story short, I played 12 performances with them…and found out that out of 26 or so tunes, fully 24 of them had printed, published, orchestrated harp parts. In other words, to save on budget overruns, they decided to cut the harp and LIED to me; no misunderstanding or miscommunication—they LIED.
(And the experience there was awful. Short of calling security on me every time I played, I couldn’t have been made to feel more unwelcome. The music director NEVER made eye contact even once. And if all the other players got notes or cards on their stands…Guess who didn’t? Even down to having to hunt down a chair and music stand for each performance.
(So, after playing three seasons of shows with them, I vowed to never darken their doors again. So much for the Christmas spirit…)
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